Tag Archives: Surprise Regional Chamber of Commerce

May 25, 2017 • Newsletter

Events & Meetings

Kyl Center for Water Policy Leaders Roundtable

The Kyl Center for Water Policy at the Morrison Institute for Public Policy at Arizona State University hosted a roundtable discussion focusing on the link between water and economic growth on Thursday, May 18.

Senator Jon Kyl kicked off the meeting, speaking on how water has been the driving force that shaped the prosperity of the Phoenix metro area, from the construction of the Salt River Project system through the Central Arizona Project’s impact on the life in the Valley.

Ana Lopez, an ASU graduate intern for the Kyl Center, then provided insight into a new Center study. The study’s focus evaluated how corporate leaders, site locators and residential developers value water. Lopez provided an overview of the interview and survey results, that were based on information received by individuals who were responsible for determining if a company should relocate, if a development should be constructed, or if a piece of land should be purchased for development. Nearly all felt the risk of water is something that could not be gambled on. If the water supply of an area is doubtful, those interviewed would stop considering an area in question, believing the risk to future success is too great.

Grady Gammage, a land use attorney, water advocate, and Advisory Board Member of the Kyl Center, spoke about the misconceptions about water and the Phoenix Metro region. He cited several recent news articles and publications that inaccurately referenced the region as a particular area that should not have been developed or that was running out of water. Sound water management is what Arizonans do, dating back to when people began to inhabit the region. He cited the 1980 Groundwater Management Act as having a significant impact on new development. He concluded that looking to the future, Arizona is not going to run out of water, as long as Arizonans maintain a proactive and responsible approach to water policy.

As a member of the Kyl Center for Water Policy Leaders Roundtable, the City of Surprise is committed to researching and analyzing opportunities to ensure sound water stewardship.

Tourism Advisory Commission Meeting

The Tourism Advisory Commission Special Meeting, May 18, was facilitated by Eric Bailey, President of Bailey Innovations Group. The session included a series of activities and exercises designed to help pave the tourism framework of the Commission’s Strategic Plan. Tourism Commission members and staff identified a common focus while evaluating the current mission statement established in the Tourism Advisory Strategic Plan. Members were asked to assemble into groups to identify key terms and areas of importance regarding the impact of tourism and its effect on our community.

Commission members and staff developed the following statement: “With the consistent growth of the City of Surprise, it is imperative to create a strategic plan for tourism that will enhance the quality of life for residents through increased economic development and partnership opportunities creating an identity that the community is proud of.” The Commission also identified several key areas of focus including: funding, annual events, entertainment, identity development, medical tourism and destination attractions.

Commission members and staff were asked to evaluate and use the statement as an enhancement to the Strategic Plan. Commission members will complete the strategic plan at the next meeting to be held on August 8 at 9 a.m.

Valley Metro RPTA Meeting

I attended the Valley Metro RPTA meeting, May 18, where the Board approved the FY18 budget which will begin on July 1. Discussion included the community outreach plan concerning the paratransit changes that take effect on July 1. Please note there will be two meetings in Surprise. The first meeting will be held at the Surprise Senior Center for those that exclusively utilize the current Dial-a-Ride system for Senior Center trips only, and the second meeting will be June 14. Details are under the Mark Your Calendar section of this newsletter.

Surprise Veteran Job Club Open House

The Surprise Veteran Job Club celebrated their one-year anniversary with an Open House Celebration, May 18. Council Members Ken Remley and myself were honored to attend. Several Job Club Alumni also joined new members in the celebration.

The City of Surprise launched the Surprise Veteran Job Club on May 16, 2016 to serve Veterans and their families with career services. Too many Veterans find it difficult to transition to civilian employment after their military service.

In their first year, the Surprise Veteran Job Club collaborated with 31 businesses and membership grew to 70 members – over 70% of those members successfully transitioned into a diverse range of occupations and industries. The club is completely run by volunteers who are Veterans and spouses. The club aims to help veterans, active military, their spouses and family members with industry and career pathway knowledge to help them gain the skills they need to land a new job or pursue a new career. This group provides help with such things as creating effective resumes, employment assistance, guest speakers and networking opportunities.

Meetings are held on the 1st and 3rd Thursdays of the month. The next meeting is Thursday, June 1, 2017 at the Surprise Resource Center, 12425 W. Bell Rd. Bldg. A, Ste. #124. Please call 623-222-1600 or email April.Irish@surpriseaz.gov for more information.

Surprise Regional Chamber of Commerce Monthly Meeting

The Surprise Regional Chamber of Commerce hosted their monthly breakfast meeting on Tuesday, May 23. Remember Media expert Sean O’Neill was the featured speaker. He provides corporate seminars that are known to have boosted the careers of thousands of employees and executives. The information was very useful and appreciated.


Mark Your Calendar

6th Annual Memorial Day Commemorative Ceremony

The Veterans Memorial Hall Memorial Day 2017 Committee is hosting their 6th Annual Memorial Day Commemorative Ceremony on Monday, May 29. The ceremony will be held at Radiant Church, at 15522 W. Paradise Lane. Doors open at 2 p.m. and the ceremony will begin at 3 p.m.

Valley Metro to Host Dial-a-Ride Transition Public Meeting

The city, in partnership with Valley Metro, will host a public outreach meeting on Tuesday, June 14, to provide current Northwest Valley Dial-a-Ride passengers an opportunity to learn about the new transportation service models prior to the July 1 transition of Dial-a-Ride to RideChoice and Valley Metro Paratransit.

The outreach meeting will be held in the Surprise City Hall Community Room, 16000 N. Civic Center Plaza, on June 14 from 4-5:30 p.m. A brief presentation will begin at 4 p.m. Information about the shared route Senior Bus will also be presented at the meeting.

Following the presentation, city and Valley Metro representatives will be available to answer questions about the transportation services.

Individuals needing reasonable accommodations should contact the ADA coordinator at 623.222.3531 (Voice); or 623.222.3503 (TTY) at least three (3) business days prior to the meeting so arrangements can be made.

Customers unable to attend the meeting can stay informed about the Dial-a-Ride service changes by visiting www.surpriseaz.gov/transportation.


Did You Know?

City Relocates City Hall Recycling Containers

The large recycling containers at City Hall, 14534 W. Tierra Buena Lane, have been relocated, due to upcoming planned development in the area. One of the containers will be moved to the gravel area next to the parking lot at the AZ TechCelerator, 12425 W. Bell Road, and another container will be relocated to the Public Works Yard, 13430 W. Westgate Drive.

A reminder that it is illegal to dump trash or recycling materials at non-designated drop-off locations. It is also illegal to dump unapproved items into the bins. If you witness someone performing these illegal acts, please call the police non-emergency number (623-222-4000). A list of approved items is available on the bins.

For more information about recycling in Surprise visit www.surpriseaz.gov/recycle.

City pools open this weekend!

The City of Surprise pools will open on Saturday, May 27 for summer open swim. The Surprise Aquatic Center is located at 15831 N Bullard Avenue. Weekend hours are noon – 5 p.m., including Memorial Day Monday, May 29. Weekday open swim hours are Monday through Thursday from noon – 6 p.m. and Friday from noon – 4 p.m.

The Hollyhock Pool is located at 15808 N Hollyhock Street. Weekend hours are noon – 4 p.m., including Memorial Day. Weekday open swim hours are Monday through Thursday from noon – 3 p.m.

Daily admission for Surprise residents is $1 per child (age 17 and under) and $2 per adult (must show residency); non-resident admission is $5 per person. Children 10 and under must be accompanied by a responsible person (age16 or older) at all times.

Pool passes are available for Surprise residents: individual passes are $20 for youth (age 17 and under) and $40 for adults (age 18 and older); family passes (2 adults and 3 children) are $80.

For more information, please visit www.surpriseaz.gov/aquatics or call the Hollyhock Pool at 623.222.2530 or the Surprise Aquatic Center at 623.222.2500.

115th Avenue & Union Hills Drive Summer Work Hours

Construction activities on the 115th Ave and Union Hills Drainage Improvement Project began last week and will continue throughout summer 2017.

The 115th Ave and Union Hills Drive project is a partnership between Surprise, the Flood Control District of Maricopa County, the city of Peoria and the Maricopa County Department of Transportation, to construct two miles of drainage improvement designed to intercept flood water from the northeast and carry it south to the Agua Fria River, decreasing flood hazards to communities in the project area. The project is scheduled to be complete in summer 2018.

Current activities on the project include placing concrete in the channel on the south side of Bell Road.

The project team is mindful of the communities in the area and is committed to minimizing inconvenience to residents and business during construction activity.

For questions or concerns, call the construction hotline at 602.264.6416.

City Offices Closed for Memorial Day

City of Surprise administrative offices will be closed Monday, May 29 in observance of Memorial Day.

City of Surprise trash and recycling customers are reminded that collection will be postponed by one day all week. Monday collection will occur on Tuesday; Tuesday collection will occur on Wednesday; Wednesday collection will occur on Thursday; Thursday collection will occur on Friday.

Please note that not all City of Surprise residents are City of Surprise trash and recycling customers and, therefore, may not experience a change in pickup service. Please check with your service provider.

If you have any questions, please contact City of Surprise Public Works at 623.222.1900.


Contact Me

Office: 623.222.1325
Mobile: 623.451.3975
Email: skip.hall@surpriseaz.gov

Ask a Question

April 27, 2017 • Newsletter

Pure Physique PilateZ and Reflexion Medical Rejuvenation Ribbon Cutting

I attended the grand opening and ribbon cutting for the Pure Physique PilateZ Studio and Reflexion Medical Rejuvenation Center on Thursday, April 20. The Center is located at 14815 W. Bell Road. Pure Physique PilateZ offers a variation of pilates equipment and a full barre studio. Reflexion Medical Rejuvenation offers IV nutrition, anti-aging, injury management, medical weight loss and much more. Welcome to District 5!

Pure Physique PilateZ and Reflexion Medical Rejuvenation Ribbon Cutting

Surprise Police Department Annual Appreciation Celebration

The Surprise Police Department held their annual Police Appreciation Celebration on Friday, April 21, 2017 at Christ’s Church of the Valley (CCV) in Surprise. The theme for this year’s event was “The Thin Blue Line – the line between order and chaos.” Police Department employees and family members, along with City Directors and their families and Councilman Roland Winters and I joined together to show appreciation for and to recognize employees and volunteers of the Surprise Police Department who, through their commitment to excellence, have helped make the Department what it is today.

Chief Terry Young expressed his sincere appreciation for the hard work, professionalism, and dedication of the employees and volunteers to the Police Department and to the City of Surprise. Dr. Dennis J. Tyner, Vice President and Provost of Ottawa University AZ, was the Master of Ceremonies. The 2016 award winners were as follows:

Civilian of the Year – Yolanda Zamora; Supervisor of the Year – Jennifer Guthrie; Officer of the Year – Tyler Johnson; Rookie of the Year – Michelle Cain; Detective of the Year – Kristy Coats; Citizens Patrol Volunteer of the Year – James Gearns; Volunteer of the Year – Tina Jennings; Medal of Merit – Russell Jurn; Police Shield – Adam Layton; Lifesaving Award – Joanna Massimillo-Vallet.

WHAM Recycle Arts Festival

WHAM Art Association hosted their Recycle Arts Fest: Exhibit & Fashion Show on Saturday, April 22 at WHAM Community Art Center, 16560 N. Dysart Road. The free neighborhood event was well attended and included a Recycle Arts Exhibit and Eco Styles Fashion Show. Thank you to WHAM’s Executive Director, Connie Whitlock, and her team for having this event each year!

Surprise Regional Chamber of Commerce Meeting

The Surprise Regional Chamber of Commerce held their monthly breakfast meeting on Tuesday, April 25. The meeting included a panel discussion on Economic Development led by featured speaker and moderator Jim Rounds. Economic Development Director Jeanine Jerkovic served as a panelist. Discussion surrounded how cities have been prioritizing economic development opportunities with limited financial resources and how the West Valley cities are taking a regional approach to attracting companies and jobs.


Mark Your Calendar

Surprise Police Explorers Fundraising Event

The Surprise Police Explorer Post #2236 is partnering with a local business, Chipotle, for an upcoming fund raising event. The event will be held at Chipotle, 13869 West Bell Road in Surprise, on Friday, April 28 from 5 – 9 p.m.

Please remember to bring in a copy of the flyer (view flyer) or show a copy of the flyer on your smart phone or other electronic device in order to help the Explorers raise money (50% of the proceeds will be donated to the Surprise Police Explorers).

Chipotle is located on the southeast corner of Litchfield Road and Bell Road in Surprise.

Surprise Super Swap Meet

Come shop at the semiannual Surprise Super Swap Meet on Saturday, April 29. More than 50 vendors will have new and used treasures on display from 8 a.m. – 1 p.m. in the parking lot of the Surprise Aquatics Center, located at 15831 N. Bullard Avenue. Parking and admission are free.

The Surprise Swap Meet is sponsored by the Human Service & Community Vitality Department and the Surprise Senior Center Site Council. For more information, please call 623.222.1500.

Surprise Safety Day

Join us for Surprise Safety Day on Saturday, May 6! It’s a fun, interactive and educational event focused on the city’s public safety services, water safety and more! The event will be held from 8-11 a.m. at the Surprise Aquatic Center, 15831 N Bullard Avenue, and will showcase emergency vehicles and equipment and feature interactive exhibits and live demonstrations on water safety, CPR and the city’s public safety services.

The Surprise Aquatic Center will be conducting free swim lesson assessments and swim team tryouts during the event. Participants are encouraged to bring a bathing suit and towel; the pool is heated.

Surprise Safety Day is hosted by the Surprise Aquatic Center in partnership with the Surprise Police and Fire-Medical departments and is presented by Banner Del E. Webb Medical Center. For more information about Safety Day, swim lesson assessments or swim team tryouts, please contact the Community and Recreation Services office at 623.222.2000.


Did You Know?

2017 General Obligation Bond Election

The Surprise Capital Improvement Funding Exploratory Committee met on April 19. The Committee was briefed by city staff on proposed capital improvement projects that may be included in three separate bond questions this fall.

Staff will present the proposed projects to City Council in a May Work Session. Pending Council approval, a Call to Election vote would be scheduled at a Regular Meeting in June. If approved, Surprise voters would decide on three possible General Obligation Bond questions in the areas of Public Safety, Traffic Congestion Mitigation and Pavement Preservation in a mail-ballot only Special Election on November 7, 2017.

Proposed Question #1: Voters in Surprise are asked to consider a $35 million public safety bond proposal to: build a Public Safety Evidence & Readiness Center; renovate an existing city facility into a Police Training Facility; acquire Land for Future Fire Station/Police Substation/ & Park; build a new Fire Station at Cactus and Litchfield roads; build a new Fire Station along 163rd Avenue, south of Happy Valley Road, to replace the current temporary station; and build a Public Works Operations Facility to centralize operations. The annual cost for a homeowner would be approximately $29 per $100,000 in Limited Property Value (LPV).

Proposed Question #2: Voters in Surprise are asked to consider a $22.9 million street bond proposal to provide funds to plan, design, construct and improve Waddell, Greenway, Litchfield and Cactus roads. The annual cost for a homeowner would be approximately $19 per $100,000 in Limited Property Value (LPV).

Proposed Question #3: Voters in Surprise are asked to consider a $24 million street pavement preservation bond proposal to plan, design, construct, replace and improve deteriorated street pavement citywide. The annual cost for a homeowner would be approximately $20 per $100,000 in Limited Property Value (LPV).

City Council Work Sessions begin at 4 p.m. and Regular Meetings begin at 6 p.m. They are open to the public and carried live on Surprise TV and online www.surpriseaz.gov/surprise11. All meeting agendas are posted online at least 24 hours ahead of the meeting at www.surpriseaz.gov.

2017 Surprise Retail Survey Results

The City of Surprise launched a retail survey in March that garnered more than 3,000 responses!

Thanks to our engaged community, we were able to collect data that helped to identify the city’s retail strengths, as well as opportunities to bring additional amenities closer to home.

Select survey insights are available below, with full results available at www.surpriseaz.gov/retailsurvey:

Top 10 Desired Restaurants

In-N-Out Burger
Portillo’s
Sweet Tomatoes
Pita Jungle
El Pollo Loco
Cracker Barrel
Cheesecake Factory
Café Zupas
Whataburger
Rubio’s

Top 10 Desired Retailers

Costco
Hobby Lobby
Whole Foods
Home Goods
JoAnn’s Fabric
TJ Maxx
Old Navy
Total Wine
IKEA
Bath and Body Works

Top 10 Local Favorites – Restaurants

Babbo Italian Eatery
Rio Mirage
Vogue Bistro
Saigon Kitchen
Nick’s Diner II
Oregano’s
Big Buddha
State 48 Brewery
Jim’s Burgers and Eggs
Irish Wolfhound

Top 10 Local Favorites – Retailers

Kimbur’s Pet Wash
Kohl’s
Musical Surprise
Target
Son Glow Boutique
Walmart
Stein Mart
Bling Tour
Home Depot
Ross

Thank you to everyone who participated in the survey! The Surprise Economic Development team will now use the results to guide their retail recruitment efforts.


Contact Me

Office: 623.222.1325
Mobile: 623.451.3975
Email: skip.hall@surpriseaz.gov

Ask a Question

March 30, 2017 • Newsletter

Events & Meetings

Surprise Police Department Promotion Ceremony

The Surprise Police Department held a promotional ceremony on March 23, 2017 to recognize the promotions of Lieutenant Norman Owens, Sergeant Michael Jalbert and Property and Evidence Supervisor Sarah Welch.

Lieutenant Norman Owens began his law enforcement career in 1996 with the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office (MCSO). Throughout his service with MCSO, Norm served as a detention officer, patrol deputy, and a narcotics detective with the MCSO Special Investigations Division. Lieutenant Owens joined the Surprise Police Department in 2001 and has served as the Off-Duty/Training Coordinator, Field Training Officer, Detective, Training Unit Officer, Sergeant, Detective Sergeant, and most recently as the Department’s Public Information Officer.

Sergeant Michael Jalbert joined the Surprise Police Department in August of 2005 and has served as a Patrol Officer, Field Training Officer and Detective. Sergeant Jalbert is currently serving as a Field Training Officer and is on the Department’s SWAT team.

Sarah Welch began employment with the Police Department in February 2007 and has been an integral part of the Property and Evidence Unit for the past 9 years. Sarah was instrumental in the implementation of the Department’s gun trade-in program and the electronic barcode evidence tracking system.

Pictured from left to right: Lt. Norman Owens, Sgt. Michael Jalbert, Sarah Welch
Pictured from left to right: Lt. Norman Owens, Sgt. Michael Jalbert, Sarah Welch

Congratulations to all of them on their promotions!

Cal Ripken Day at Surprise Stadium

Surprise Stadium hosted a parade for our city’s Cal Ripken players on Saturday, March 25 prior to the regularly scheduled spring training game. This is one of my favorite events every year as it provides Council an opportunity to welcome the players for another season. This year, there are 140 teams, 1,800 participants and 350 volunteer coaches. Thank you to Paul Frie, Community and Recreation Services Recreation Division Manager and Arizona Cal Ripken Commissioner, and his team for their work each year putting together this successful program!

National League of Cities Debrief

I met with staff on Monday, March 27 for a post-trip debrief on the National League of Cities Conference in Washington D.C. In addition to the sessions attended by staff and Councilmembers, we had a series of highly productive meetings aimed at accomplishing several objectives. Some of those objectives included the request of support from our Congressional representatives for opportunities related to funding the transportation needs of our growing city and collaborating to identify ways to meet transit and transportation needs in Surprise in a fiscally pragmatic manner.

In order to continue the conversation relative to transit and transportation needs in Surprise, Council will consider a request in the FY18 budget discussions to fund a demand study which will identify both transit demands and appropriate solutions to meet those demands. This item will be considered along with the other requests for funding in the coming fiscal year.

Surprise Regional Chamber of Commerce Monthly Breakfast Meeting

Councilmembers Jim Hayden, Ken Remley and I attended the Surprise Regional Chamber of Commerce monthly breakfast meeting on Tuesday, March 28. Scott Phillips, Vice President of Carefree Partners Investments, provided an update on City Center. The goal of Carefree Partners, in partnership with the City, is to create a downtown, walkable city center from scratch.

A project of this caliber will take patience and perseverance as we try to build the right mix of commerce, culture, recreation, entertainment, ingenuity and energy. Retail trends have changed due to the popularity of online shopping, and we are diligently working on an ever changing model. The future downtown will include major employment, Ottawa University, dense residential living, a multitude of entertainment and food options plus much more. In summary, this is a very unique public private partnership for a project of this size in the state, if not the entire country.

Surprise Literacy Challenge

The Surprise Literacy Challenge this year utilized partnerships with Surprise Friends of the Library and the local branch of the Maricopa County Library District to bring an engaging program to the 4th, 5th, and 6th grade students from Surprise. Through the use of bingo cards with 25 various challenges, students were engaged in literacy in many new and unique ways beyond just reading a book.

Ten schools participated this year with more than 2,200 students taking part of the challenge. I’m happy to report that the winners are Arizona Charter Academy’s 4th grade class led by Mrs. Wernet, Cimarron Springs’ 5th grade class led by Ms. Mohaupt and Kingswood Park Elementary’s 6th grade class led by Ms. Johnson. Congratulations!

Celebrating Expansion in Surprise

Luv 2 Play hosted a grand opening celebration on Wednesday, March 29 with a ribbon cutting ceremony, face painting, balloon artists and much more! Luv 2 Play is an indoor playground and arcade for children ages 0-12. They also have menu options for parents and kids alike! For more information, please visit http://luv2play.com/surprise/.

Christopher Todd Communities broke ground at the future Christopher Todd Communities on Greenway project. The area is located on the southwest corner of Greenway and Litchfield roads. This project will offer 136 one and two-bedroom private rental residences with a gated entry, charming detached homes with front and backyards, optional detached garages, community park with a pet washing station and a community pool. There will be 56 one-bedroom and 80 larger two-bedroom floor plans.


Mark Your Calendar

Household Hazardous Waste Collection

If you’ve been holding on to unwanted paint, electronics and other hazardous waste; mark your calendar for the City’s next Household Hazardous Waste Collection Event on Saturday, April 8.

This event is free and for Surprise residents only. Please bring a driver’s license or utility bill to show proof of a Surprise home address.

Drop-off is at the Public Works Maintenance Yard, 13433 W. Foxfire Drive (from Bell Road, turn north on Dysart and follow signs to the entrance off Foxfire), from 8 a.m. – Noon.

Acceptable items list:

  • Antifreeze, car batteries, motor oil, gasoline, diesel and fuel additives
  • Brake-transmission-power steering fluid, degreasers
  • Pool chemicals, fire extinguishers and gas cylinders
  • Compact fluorescent light bulbs
  • Stain, varnish, turpentine, cleaners, adhesives
  • Paint, paint thinners, solvents, cleaners, adhesives
  • Pesticides, herbicides, fertilizers and other lawn chemicals
  • Freezers, refrigerators (no RV refrigerators with ammonia)
  • TVs, electronics, cell phones, computers, stereos
  • Up to 5 auto tires (no rims and no truck tires )
  • Washers, dryers, water heaters, stoves, dishwashers and evaporative coolers

The following items will NOT be accepted:

  • Regular refuse and bulk trash
  • Bio–medical waste
  • Commercial waste
  • Ammunition or explosives
  • RV refrigerators that contain ammonia
  • Radioactive material

For more information, check out www.surpriseaz.gov/HHWevent or call 623.222.6000.

Taste of Surprise

The Rotary Club of Surprise will host the Taste of Surprise event at Surprise Stadium on Saturday, April 8 from 4 p.m. until 9 p.m. The event will showcase some the West Valley’s best foods and include a beer and wine garden and live entertainment. This event is designed to be fun for the entire family!

The 2017 Taste of Surprise proceeds will benefit five local non-profits including One Step Beyond, Surprise Youth Foundation, Benevilla, A New Leaf, and Rotary Club of Surprise Community Foundation. Tickets can be purchased at the event or online. To purchase tickets online, please visit http://www.tasteofsurprise.com/purchase-tickets.html.


Did You Know?

Greenway Road – Litchfield Road Intersection Improvement Work to Begin

Drivers can expect lane restrictions around the intersection of Litchfield and Greenway roads from March 30 through May 8 as crews perform utility work and correct a dip in the intersection.

A full closure of the intersection is planned for the final weekend of the project. The intersection will close Friday, May 5 at 9 p.m. and reopen Monday, May 8 at 5 a.m.

This work will complete the final phase of the Greenway Road Improvement Project. Last summer, the city completed the widening portion of the Greenway Road project between Litchfield Road and Bullard Avenue; the project also included landscaped medians, drainage improvements and sidewalks.

For more information, please call 623.222.6000.


Contact Me

Office: 623.222.1325
Mobile: 623.451.3975
Email: skip.hall@surpriseaz.gov

Ask a Question

January 26, 2017 • Newsletter

Bell Road/Grand Avenue Update

The Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT) continues to issue project updates for the Bell Road/Grand Avenue bridge project. Please note that the project has entered the third and final stage.

I encourage you to familiarize yourself with the Bell-Grand interchange traffic configurations before the project is complete in February. View the ADOT Bell-Grand interchange animation to better understand traffic movements at the project intersections.

Upcoming Activities

  • Westbound Bell Road closed between 134th Avenue and West Point Parkway from 9 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 28, to 5 a.m. Monday, Jan. 30, for pavement work. DETOUR: Drivers can use Dysart Road to Grand Avenue and Litchfield Road to reconnect to westbound Bell Road.
  • Grand Avenue base paving has been completed. Final paving will still need to be done and will require simultaneous closures of Towne Center Drive and Bell Grande. Final paving is anticipated to begin on Jan. 29.
  • Grand Avenue will be restricted to one lane in both directions at times over the next couple of weeks during daytime hours. Two lanes of traffic will be back in place at the end of each day.

City, County, and State law enforcement will be patrolling the area. Please obey all traffic signage and posted speed limits.

For more information or if you have questions: ADOT’s project hotline (855) 712-8530, press option #1 or email: bellandgrandinfo@azdot.gov

Bell Road/Grand Avenue Traffic Pattern Update

The Bell-Grand Traffic Pattern Map focuses on the intersections at Grand and Bell Grande Drive; Grand and Bell Road; and Grand and Towne Center Drive. Here are the biggest changes you will encounter:

  • An active traffic signal on the top of the Bell Road Bridge will direct traffic movements from the new on-off ramps to and from Grand Avenue;
  • Traffic descending northwest on Grand Avenue ramps will merge into Grand Avenue traffic prior to approaching the Towne Center Drive intersection. Shoppers will note dual lefts at the intersection to get into the commercial area;
  • There will be NO access to Bell Grande Drive (by Carl’s Jr.) for traffic coming off of the eastbound Grand Avenue ramp from Bell. If you want to shop at Surprise Marketplace, stay on Bell and enter the parking lot by the Chick-fil-A driveway at the bottom of the bridge;
  • And motorists traveling on Grand Avenue in either direction that want to access Bell Road should be in the left lane to access the ramps. At the top of the ramps there will be dual left lanes and one right lane to connect you to Bell.

Bell-Grand Traffic Pattern Map

The map complements the Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT) interchange video that provides an animated portrayal of how motorists will access Bell Road from westbound Grand Avenue when the ramps open next month. Additionally, the city has identified the ‘Top 5 Driving Pattern Changes to Know’ to assist residents with navigating the area.

The Bell-Grand project is scheduled to be completed prior to the first Spring Training game at Surprise Stadium on February 25. For more information about the Bell-Grand project, visit www.surpriseaz.gov/bellandgrand.


Events & Meetings

AZ STEM Community of Practice Meeting

Along with representation from Canyon Ridge Elementary School, I attended the AZ STEM Community of Practice Meeting at Centerra Mirage STEM Academy in Goodyear on Tuesday, January 17. AZ STEM School Community of Practice is a joint initiative between hi-tech businesses, community members, educators, students and parents. This is a collaboration that consists of 57 forward-thinking schools dedicated to sharing best practices and finding solutions to educate our youth in the fields of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). This particular meeting consisted of break-out sessions that focused on attracting funds and partnerships.

Mountain Vista Ranch HOA Meeting

On Wednesday, January 18, I attended the Mountain Vista Ranch HOA meeting to present an overall city update with a focus on economic development. Police Chief Terry Young accompanied me to discuss recent vehicular burglaries. He reinforced the need to lock your car doors and keep your valuables indoors or out of sight. All but one vehicle was left unlocked during these aforementioned crimes.

El Mirage City Hall Grand Opening

City Councilmembers Jim Hayden, Roland Winters, Ken Remley and I attended the El Mirage City Hall grand opening and ribbon cutting on Thursday, January 19 along with several other elected officials and dignitaries from around the Valley. The new City Hall is located on El Mirage Road between Peoria and Olive Avenues.

AZ History & Culture Speaker Series Continues

The Surprise Arts & Cultural Advisory Commission in partnership with Arizona Humanities hosted another fantastic speaker series event on Monday, January 23 at City Hall. The presentation introduced us to the flamboyant stage coach robber Pearl Hart and the road that took her from an innocent teenager to a life of crime. We had 95 people attend the free event!

The next speaker series event will follow the footsteps of Martha Summerhayes who gave birth to the first Anglo child born at Fort Apache. The free event will be held February 15 from 11 am – noon in the City Council Chambers at Surprise City Hall. Please contact Commission Chair Susan deJong for additional information at 623.214.7537.

Surprise Regional Chamber of Commerce

The Surprise Regional Chamber of Commerce hosted their Annual Meeting as part of their monthly breakfast meeting on Tuesday, January 24. Chamber Board Chair Patrick McDermott introduced the 2017 Board Officers which, in addition to himself, include Scott Philips, Jeremiah Hood, Steve Doolittle and Melissa Holdaway. Additionally, Mr. McDermott provided the 2016 highlights which included the award-winning ShopSurprise campaign produced in collaboration with the city of Surprise, the revitalization of the Chairman’s Circle and an overview of the Chamber’s financials. The Chamber gained 75 new members and 17 Chairman Circle members in 2016. The total membership exceeds 400 members.

Chamber CEO Raoul Sada discussed the three pillars of the Chamber which include Membership Services and Resources, Voice of the Business Community, and Public Education and Outreach. For more information on the Chamber, please visit their website at www.surpriseregionalchamber.com.


Mark Your Calendar

2017 Surprise City Academy

If you are interested in learning about the structure of city government or just want to update yourself on local issues, now is the time to register for the 2017 Surprise City Academy. The eight-session academy offers the opportunity to learn about the city directly from City Council and city management.

The Surprise City Academy will begin on March 6 and continue weekly through April 17. Most classes meet from 6-8:30 p.m. in the auditorium of the Surprise Public Safety Building, located at 14250 W. Statler Plaza. The Academy is free but space is limited, so I encourage you to register by February 23.

For more information, please visit www.surpriseaz.gov/cityacademy or contact Ruby Sitea at 623.222.3242.

Lunchtime Theatre Series

The City of Surprise and the West Valley Arts Council, in partnership with Theatre Works, the West Valley Symphony and the Phoenix Opera are excited to offer another performance, “Jam Session with Maestro Kellogg and Friends”. The performance will be held on February 9, 2017. The first performance will be held at 11:30 a.m. and the second at 1:30 p.m. Tickets are $10 and can be purchased by calling the West Valley Arts Council at 623.935.6384.

State of the City Address

Mayor Sharon Wolcott plans to highlight the success of Our Community. Our Story and provide the vision for future success in the 2017 State of the City luncheon event.

When: Wednesday, February 22

Where: The Colonnade, 19116 Colonnade Way, Surprise, 85374

Registration begins at 10:45 a.m. Lunch follows and the program begins at 11:30 a.m.

The Surprise Regional Chamber of Commerce is accepting registrations online and by phone at 623.583.0692 or 623.748.1828. Single tickets are $35; or $500 for a reserved table for 10. The event is hosted by the Surprise Regional Chamber of Commerce and Sun Health.


Did You Know?

Surprise Veteran Job Club

The City of Surprise is proud to serve the men and women of the Armed Forces, both active-duty and veterans, who serve us so well! That’s why we have launched a Veteran Job Club, where veterans provide other veterans, active military and their family members with industry and career pathway knowledge to help them gain the skills they need to land a new job or pursue a new career! This group includes employment assistance, guest speakers and networking!

When: February 2, 2017 from 6 – 7:30 p.m.

Where: Surprise Resource Center at the AZ TechCelerator campus, 12425 W. Bell Rd, Suite #124

To register, please call the Surprise Resource Center 623.222.1600.


Contact Me

Office: 623.222.1325
Mobile: 623.451.3975
Email: skip.hall@surpriseaz.gov

Ask a Question

January 19, 2017 • Newsletter

Bell Road/Grand Avenue Update

The Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT) continues to issue project updates for the Bell Road/Grand Avenue bridge project. Please note that the project has entered the third and final stage through late February 2017.

I encourage you to familiarize yourself with the Bell-Grand interchange traffic configurations before the project is complete in February. View the ADOT Bell-Grand interchange animation to better understand traffic movements at the project intersections.

Upcoming Activities

  • Grand Avenue base paving has been completed. Final paving will still need to be done and will require simultaneous closures of Towne Center Drive and Bell Grande. Final paving is anticipated to begin on Jan. 30.
  • Grand Avenue will be restricted to one lane in both directions at times over the next couple of weeks during daytime hours. Two lanes of traffic will be back in place at the end of each day.
  • Westbound Bell Road closed between 134th Avenue and West Point Parkway from 9 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 28, to 5 a.m. Monday, Jan. 30, for pavement work. DETOUR: Drivers can use Dysart Road to Grand Avenue and Litchfield Road to reconnect to westbound Bell Road.

City, County, and State law enforcement will be patrolling the area. Please obey all traffic signage and posted speed limits.

For more information or if you have questions: ADOT’s project hotline (855) 712-8530, press option #1 or email: bellandgrandinfo@azdot.gov


City Council Work Session

Bell Road/Grand Avenue Interchange Update

The ramps connecting Grand Avenue to the Bell Road Bridge are set to reopen before the end of February! City staff reported to City Council, in Tuesday’s Work Session, that these improvements will result in driving pattern changes. The city has created a map to help you navigate the area and safely access the new connections.

The Bell-Grand Traffic Pattern Map focuses on the intersections at Grand and Bell Grande Drive; Grand and Bell Road; and Grand and Towne Center Drive. Here are the biggest changes you will encounter:

  • An active traffic signal on the top of the Bell Road Bridge will direct traffic movements from the new on-off ramps to and from Grand Avenue;
  • Traffic descending the westbound Grand Avenue ramps will merge into Grand Avenue traffic prior to approaching the Towne Center Drive intersection. Shoppers will note dual lefts at the intersection to get into the commercial area;
  • There will be NO access to Bell Grande Drive for traffic coming off of the eastbound Grand Avenue ramp from Bell. If you want to shop at Surprise Marketplace, stay on Bell and enter the parking lot by the Chick-fil-A driveway at the bottom of the bridge;
  • And motorists traveling on Grand Avenue in either direction that want to access Bell Road should be in the left lane to access the ramps. At the top of the ramps there will be dual left lanes and one right lane to connect you to Bell.

Bell-Grand Traffic Pattern Map

The map complements the Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT) interchange video that provides an animated portrayal of how motorists will access Bell Road from westbound Grand Avenue when the ramps open next month. Additionally, the city has identified the ‘Top 5 Driving Pattern Changes to Know’ to assist residents with navigating the area.

The Bell-Grand project is scheduled to be completed prior to the first Spring Training game at Surprise Stadium on February 25. For more information about the Bell-Grand project, visit www.surpriseaz.gov/bellandgrand.

Surprise Regional Chamber of Commerce Update

Last December, the city entered into a multi-year membership and facility use agreement with the Surprise Regional Chamber of Commerce through June 30, 2019 which is funded annually subject to budget appropriations. As part of the membership agreement, regular updates to the City Council on the partnership, accomplishments and any upcoming programming was expected.

Economic Development Director Jeanine Jerkovic provided an overview of the City member benefits and Surprise Regional Chamber of Commerce CEO Raoul Sada provided a year in review. The Chamber will have an Annual Meeting as part of their January breakfast meeting agenda next week and will discuss 2016 financials and the future for the Chamber which includes diversification of revenue stream (corporate income and contributions, fees for services, etc.) and the growth of the membership with approximately 75 new members and 17 new companies that have joined the Chairman Circle.


City Council Meeting

Nomination of Vice Mayor

The Surprise City Council selected District 6 Councilmember Todd Tande to serve as Vice Mayor. Per city code, City Council must select a new Vice Mayor to serve on an annual basis no later than January 30. The Vice Mayor acts on behalf of the Mayor in the event of absence.

Tande was elected to City Council in the August 2013 election to serve an extended five-year term beginning January 2014.

Comprehensive Annual Financial Report

Surprise Finance Director Lindsey Duncan and Assistant Finance Director Andrea Davis presented City Council with the result of the city’s fiscal year 2016 annual audit and Comprehensive Annual Financial Report. The city received an unmodified opinion, which is the “good” or “clean” opinion. While the outcome was positive, the city will continue to improve internal control policies.


Events & Meetings

MLK Jr. Day of Celebration & Service

The city, in partnership with APS and the Northwest Black History Committee, hosted the Martin Luther King Jr. Day Celebration & Service on Saturday, January 14. Emmy award-winning journalist and anchor of ABC 15 News Steve Irvin emceed the event and retired USAF Colonel Richard Toliver provided the uplifting keynote address. The spectacular event was quite motivating and even better was the opportunity to volunteer for community service projects afterwards. Approximately 350 people attended the programs and 300 volunteers, with a total of 600 unduplicated participants involved in the day’s festivities. Volunteers gave their time to 10 service projects.

Thank you to the city’s Human Service and Community Vitality Department, led by Seth Dyson, for their dedication and investment into this event which we certainly hope will become an annual event in Surprise! Thank you to the volunteers for serving and continuing to build a wonderful city! In the words of Martin Luther King Jr. “Use me, God, show me how to take who I am, who I want to be, and what I can do, and use it for a purpose greater than myself.”

WESTMARC’s State of the State Luncheon

WESTMARC hosted a State of the State Luncheon on Tuesday, January 17 at the Renaissance Hotel in Glendale. Governor Doug Ducey continues to emphasize education funding and increasing teachers’ salaries as well as increasing our education attainment rates with the “Achieve60AZ” education initiative. In addition to his commitment to cutting taxes, he briefly spoke about instituting a welfare provision.

Sun Village Lion’s Club

The Sun Village Lion’s Club invited me to speak to their membership during their meeting on Tuesday, January 17. I provided a city update on economic development and the Bell/Grand interchange project, as mentioned in this newsletter.


Mark Your Calendar

Surprise Police host Shred-a-Thon and Drug Take Back

The Surprise Police Department will host a Shred-a-Thon and Drug Take Back Event on Saturday, January 21 from 7-10 a.m. This event will be held at the Surprise Public Safety Building located at 14250 West Statler Plaza.

During the event, the public will be able to bring up to 3 boxes of documents, per vehicle, to be shredded. Additionally, unused prescription and over-the-counter medications can be brought and dropped off for destruction. There is no cost for the shredding of documents or destruction of medications.

Please note that we are unable to accept sharps (to include insulin syringes/needles) or inhalers of any kind. Additionally, the shredding event will continue until 10 a.m. or until the shred trucks have been filled up.

Surprise Pops Band Concert

The Surprise Pops Band is kicking off the new year with a free concert featuring Broadway show tunes! The concert will be held on Sunday, January 22 at 3 p.m. at Valley Vista Performing Arts Center located at 15550 N. Parkview Place in Surprise.

Doors open at 2:15 p.m. Attendees are asked to bring a nonperishable food item donation to benefit the Valley View Community Food Bank. For more information, please visit www.surprisepopsband.com.

Surprise Citizens Patrol Recruitment Meeting

The Surprise Citizens Patrol will be hosting a recruitment and informational meeting at the Surprise Public Safety Auditorium located at 14250 West Statler Plaza on January 25 at 6 p.m. The meeting is designed to inform the public about the Citizens Patrol and opportunities the program offers to those who are willing to volunteer. Come join the internationally acclaimed Volunteer Service organization, a winner of the 2015 IACP (International Association of Chiefs of Police) Award for Outstanding Achievement in Law Enforcement Volunteer Programs.

Join us for the meeting and hear from Surprise Police Chief Terry Young, see a presentation by the program leaders, experience a SWAT (Special Weapons and Tactics) Team demonstration, and tour the Police Department facilities.

Besides patrolling the streets and assisting at crime scenes, the Surprise Citizens Patrol partners with the police on programs such as vacation watch and the “We Care” Program. I hope you will consider joining this valuable group of volunteers!

Click here to learn more about the Surprise Citizen Patrol: http://ow.ly/PiPoX


Did You Know?

Board and Commission Openings

The City of Surprise is currently accepting applications for the following Commissions:

Arts & Cultural Advisory Commission 1 – vacancy
Disability Advisory Commission – 1 vacancy

Applications for the above mentioned commissions are available immediately and can be picked up at the City Clerk’s Office, Monday through Friday from 8 am – 5 pm. Applications are also available online at www.surpriseaz.gov/boards.

For more information, please contact the City Clerk’s Office at 623.222.1200.


Contact Me

Office: 623.222.1325
Mobile: 623.451.3975
Email: skip.hall@surpriseaz.gov

Ask a Question

December 1, 2016 • Newsletter

Bell Road/Grand Avenue Update

The Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT) continues to issue project updates for the Bell Road/Grand Avenue bridge project. Please note that the project has entered the third and final stage beginning November 22 through late February 2017. Phase 3C includes the following:

Grand Avenue:

  • No direct access to Bell Road until late February 2017. The Bell-Grand interchange ramps are inaccessible until the end of construction. Motorists needing to access Grand Avenue from Bell Road will need to use the revised designated detour route.
  • Grand Avenue will continue to be reduced to 2 lanes in each direction from Litchfield to Dysart roads until Late February 2017.
  • Business access along Grand Avenue to/from Surprise Towne Center and Surprise Marketplace maintained at the signalized intersections at Towne Center and Bell Grande drives.

Bell Road:

  • Access from US 60 (Grand Avenue) between Litchfield Road and Dysart Road available via detour route at Reems Road and Dysart Road.

134th Avenue:

  • Open to traffic

ADOT Phase 3C Detour Handout

Currently, work continues on the following:

  • Painting Bell Road Bridge
  • Reconstructing eastbound Grand Avenue

**City, County, and State law enforcement will be patrolling the area. Please obey all traffic signage and posted speed limits.**


Events & Meetings

Bell Road Reopening

The Arizona Department of Transportation officially opened the new Bell Road Bridge at Grand Avenue at 12:15 a.m. on November 22. To commemorate the reopening and thank the area businesses, residents and drivers for their patience during the seven-month closure of Bell Road, the city hosted a pre-celebration on Monday, November 21 in the Surprise Marketplace parking lot.

reopening of Bell Road

Representatives from the Arizona Department of Transportation and the Surprise Regional Chamber of Commerce spoke at the event that was also attended by neighboring elected officials, residents and local businesses. As a “thank you” for supporting the businesses around the Bell and Grand intersection attendees received Surprise shopping bags, filled with vendor coupons and promotional items. A perfect reminder to Shop Surprise this holiday season!

The entire Bell-Grand project, included the ramps connecting Grand Avenue to Bell Road, is scheduled to be complete prior to Spring Training 2017 at the Surprise Recreation Campus. In the meantime, your Bell to Grand Avenue access remains on Dysart Road, east of the intersection and Bell to Reems to Grand, west of the intersection.

Valley Metro Audit & Finance Subcommittee

The Valley Metro Audit & Finance Subcommittee met on Monday, November 28 to discuss applicants for the Chief Financial Officer position. The subcommittee will make a recommendation to the full Valley Metro Board this month.

Surprise Regional Chamber of Commerce Monthly

Council Members Jim Hayden, Todd Tande and I attended the Surprise Regional Chamber of Commerce monthly breakfast meeting on Tuesday, November 29. Brigadier General Brook J. Leonard of Luke AFB was the keynote speaker and provided a thorough update on Luke AFB and the economic impact the Base brings to Arizona and the plans to bring more F35s here.


Mark Your Calendar

15th Annual Surprise Party

Celebrate with the City of Surprise at the 15th Annual Surprise Party this weekend at the Surprise Recreation Campus! This fun-filled event offers a variety of activities and entertainment experiences, and admission is free with a canned food or toy donation benefiting Sanderson Ford Operation Santa Claus. The schedule, subject to change, is as follows:

Friday, December 2 (5 p.m. – 9 p.m.) will include a hot air balloon glow; Arizona Skyhawks Skydivers; a traditional tree lighting ceremony; great food; live musical performances from “Steven P. Project,” “Nothin’ but a Party Band” and “Gonzology”; and fireworks. Plus, Santa’s Workshop, presented by Palm Valley Pediatric Dentistry, offers a free opportunity for youth of all ages to visit with Santa and Mrs. Claus while enjoying arts and crafts, cookies, and fun!

  • 5 – 7 p.m. – Musical performances by “Steven P. Project” and “Nothin’ but a Party Band”
  • 7 – 7:15 p.m. – Tree Lighting Ceremony
  • 7:15 – 8:45 p.m. – Musical performances by “Gonzology” and “Nothin’ but a Party Band”; Festive Balloon Glow
  • 8:45 – 8:55 p.m. – Night time Skydivers
  • 8:55 – 9 p.m. – “Party in the Sky” Fireworks

Friday’s event will be held at the Surprise Recreation Campus – Stadium Plaza, located at 15850 N. Bullard Avenue. Fireworks will begin approximately at 8:55 p.m.

Saturday, December 3 (11 a.m. – 5 p.m.) will include an arts and crafts festival, classic car show, interactive games, camel rides, a petting zoo, clowns, face painters, inflatables, carnival, gingerbread house contest and much more! Throughout the day, enjoy a variety of entertainment, including performances by the City of Surprise Dance programs and this year’s new attraction – “Robosaurus” the world’s largest car-crushing robot. Event activities and attractions may include a nominal fee. Concessions will be available for purchase.

  • 11 – 11:15 a.m. – The 15th Annual Surprise Party kickoff
  • 11:15 – 12:30 p.m. – City of Surprise – Special Interest Class Performance Groups
  • 1 – 2:45 p.m. – “Gonzology” musical performance
  • 3 – 5 p.m. – “Steppin’ Into Tomorrow” musical performance

Saturday’s events will be held at the Surprise Recreation Campus – 8 Acres Park, north of Surprise Stadium.

Carnival Operating Hours
Friday 5 – 9 p.m.
Saturday 11 a.m. – 5 p.m.

For additional event information, please contact the Surprise Community and Recreation Services Department at 623.222.2000 or visit www.surpriseaz.gov/specialevents.

AZ TechCelerator Holiday Open House

Check out the latest tech wonders evolving at the city’s business incubator on Thursday, December 8, at the AZ TechCelerator campus and enter for a chance to win some tech devices! The AZ TechCelerator’s “Tech the Halls” Holiday Open House runs from 5–7 p.m., Dec. 8, at 12425 W. Bell Road. This is an excellent opportunity to look at latest advancements from Surprise’s technology start-ups, including electric vehicle conversions, water desalination, and electric skateboards, all in a joyful setting of holiday music, comfort food, and warm coffee.

A raffle will be held at 6:30 p.m. for those who complete a special scavenger hunt, with tech giveaways ranging from a Fitbit Charge 2, Google Home, an Xbox One and more!

Since 2009, the AZ TechCelerator has fostered local start-ups, resulting in 16 businesses, over 200 jobs graduated, and a local Google corporate office. This year, the AZ TechCelerator reached worldwide with its Global Concierge Services program, which helps international businesses establish local operations in Surprise and has so far generated more than 300 additional community jobs.


Did You Know?

Surprise Park-and-Ride Returns to Bell & Grand Location

The pick-up and drop-off locations for bus route 571 – Surprise Express will relocate to the Surprise Park-and-Ride, 13327 W. Bell Road, effective December 5! The Park-and-Ride was temporarily located at DreamCatcher Park due to the construction activity related to the Bell Road/Grand Avenue interchange project.

For more information, please contact Valley Metro Customer Service at 602.253.5000.

Surprise Police Department Completes Accreditation Process

Chief Terry Young recently announced Surprise Police Department has once again successfully completed a multi-year process designed to recognize professionalism in law enforcement through achievement of accredited status with the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies, Inc. (CALEA®).

The Surprise Police Department received their initial accreditation on November 17, 2007, and received two subsequent reaccreditations in November of 2010 and 2013. On November 5, 2016, the Surprise Police Department was awarded their third reaccreditation from CALEA, and fourth overall award.

The purpose and mission of CALEA is two-fold. First, to establish a body of standards designed to increase agency efficiency and effectiveness in the delivery of public safety services; and second, to establish and administer a series of credentialing programs through which public safety agencies can demonstrate voluntarily that they meet an established set of internationally recognized law enforcement standards leading to excellence in management and service delivery.

The CALEA Accreditation Process, itself, is a proven management model. Some of the benefits that law enforcement agencies receive as a result of their accredited status with CALEA include:

  • Validation that policies comply with professionally developed law enforcement standards,
  • Scheduled review process for policies to ensure SPD continues to employ and develop progressive policies that reflect best practices in law enforcement,
  • Promotion of fair recruitment, selection, and promotional processes,
  • Enhanced administrative and operational efficiency and effectiveness,
  • Advanced capability to generate reports and analyses to make informed management decisions,
  • Higher level of accountability by Department members at all levels,
  • Reduction of liability and risk exposure, and
  • Greater public confidence in the agency and its members.

The CALEA Accreditation Process has proven to be of great benefit to both the agency and the community. It requires that the agency conform to procedures that are consistent with internationally recognized, progressive law enforcement standards. This is the foundation for competent, responsible, and ethical service to the public. It also requires the agency to take a thorough, introspective look at its mission, objectives, and operation. The Surprise Police Department voluntarily participates in the law enforcement accreditation process, and will continue to do so into the future.


Contact Me

Office: 623.222.1325
Mobile: 623.451.3975
Email: skip.hall@surpriseaz.gov

Ask a Question

October 27, 2016 • Newsletter

Bell Road/Grand Avenue Update

The Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT) continues to issue weekly project updates for the Bell Road/Grand Avenue bridge project. Bell Road will remain closed between 134th Avenue and West Point Parkway until November 22, pending weather conditions and other unforeseen factors that may affect the target date.

Full closure scheduled on Grand Avenue this Friday night:

  • US 60 (Grand Avenue) closed in both directions between Dysart and Litchfield roads from 9 p.m. Friday, Oct. 28, to 8 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 29, to paint and install pedestrian fence on the Bell Road bridge. Traffic will be detoured at Dysart and Litchfield roads.

Work continues this week on the following:

  • Installation of barrier and lighting on new bridge.
  • Installation of signal at 134th Avenue.
  • Paving the east side of the new bridge.
  • Reconstruction of eastbound Grand Avenue.
  • Construction of retaining wall panels on the bridge over Grand Avenue.

**City, County, and State law enforcement will be patrolling the area. Please obey all traffic signage and posted speed limits.**

As always, please allow plenty of time and observe all traffic control signs and barricades. Thank you again for your patience during this project. For more information, please visit the project website at www.azdot.gov/bellandgrand or you can contact ADOT’s project hotline at 855.712.8530, press option #1.


Utility Transition Information

On November 1, the City of Surprise will begin processing billing statements for current wastewater and solid waste customers who were previously billed by American Water.

Council unanimously voted in March 2016 to bring the service in-house rather than utilize an outside contractor.

The transition has brought about numerous questions regarding utility billing from residents throughout the city. The most common questions stem from concerns about bill pay options and different utility providers. To help ease the transition, I’ve included those questions below.

Am I going to receive an American Water statement in October? If I do, who should I pay?

Yes. If you previously received a statement from American Water for your water or wastewater/solid waste, you will receive your last statement in October or the first week in November. Please pay this last bill to American Water using the same method of payment you have always used when paying your American Water Bill.

When will I receive my Surprise utility billing statement?

Due to multiple billing cycles and meter schedules, residents will be receiving their City of Surprise utility bill at various times throughout the month of November, however you will receive your first statement about 30 days from when you received your last American Water bill.

Do I still need to pay EPCOR for my water service?

Yes. Customers who are currently served by EPCOR water will continue to receive their water statement from EPCOR. However, if you received a statement from American Water for wastewater and solid waste services, your wastewater and solid waste statement will now come from the city of Surprise.

I’m currently enrolled in auto pay with American Water; what should I do?

When you receive your first statement from the city of Surprise (by mail) with your new utility account number, you will need to go online to http://surpriseaz.gov/waterbill and select the ‘Utility Payments’ button. It will lead you to the City utility payment website where you will select ‘Create Account’ to set up your online payment account. If you are unsure about how to do this or do not have access to the internet to do this, call the City’s customer service staff at 623.222.1900 and they will be happy to assist you over the phone in getting you set up. Just remember, to call them beginning November 1st so they can help you get set up in the “live” system.

I pay all my bills using online banking; do I need to change anything?

Yes. When you receive your first statement from the city of Surprise (by mail) with your new utility account number, you will need to log into your online banking account and update your payment information using your new Surprise account number and the city’s information which can be found on your statement.

I’m sure that, like me, you will have many more questions. I am so proud that we have a dedicated team of customer service professionals available to assist you with your utility billing concerns.

Should you have questions, you may contact the Customer Service & Utility Billing team at 623.222.1900.


Events & Meetings

Arts & Cultural Advisory Commission Comic Event

On October 22, the Arts & Cultural Advisory Commission hosted a Comic Encounter featuring Steve Rude the Dude. Over 50 people attended. Mr. Rude talked about his experience learning to draw art in school and interacted with the entire audience during the event. A drawing contest of Barnes & Noble gift cards and an autographed book by Steve Rude was held for two age groups.

Artist talking to class

Surprise Regional Chamber of Commerce Monthly Meeting

The Surprise Regional Chamber of Commerce hosted their monthly breakfast meeting on Tuesday, October 25. Councilman Jim Hayden and I attended the event and the guest speaker was Mike Godbehere, President and Co-founder of GCON Inc. The presentation provided an overview of communicating through different color filters, utilizing Personality Lingo, that teach you how to adapt your communication’s strategies to ensure you are hearing and speaking the right message.

Arizona History Series Kicks Off in Surprise

The city’s Arts and Cultural Advisory Commission, in partnership with Arizona Humanities, hosted the first speaking series on Arizona history and culture in the City Council Chambers on Tuesday, October 25. Councilman Roland Winters and I attended. Dr. Jay Cravath spoke for this particular series – “Honky Tonks, Brothels and Mining Caps: Entertainment in Old Arizona.”

speaker addressing audience

The next speaker event, “Pearl Hart, the Lady Bandit-Victim or Vixen…or Both,” will be held on Monday, January 23, 2017, 11 a.m. in the Community Room at City Hall.

Surprise-Gateway Training Center Grand Opening

City Council joined representatives from Gateway Community College on Wednesday, October 26 for the grand opening of the Surprise Gateway Training Center, at our south water plant, on Cactus Road, just east of Litchfield Road. This training center is a state-of-the-art facility. Supporting training and the education of our workforce and continued investments in our water infrastructure are critical to our growing city. This new facility addresses these priorities and prepares individuals for a career rather than a job. We are very appreciative of this partnership with Gateway and the dedication of our Water Resource Management team led by Department Director Terry Lowe.

Surprise Gateway Training Center ribbon cutting


Mark Your Calendar

Free Workshops and Career Fair

As the ramp-up for holiday sales start, the holiday hiring begins. The City of Surprise, in partnership with Arizona@Work Maricopa County and Skillful, will host three free events at the Communiversity @ Surprise, 15950 N Civic Center Plaza, to help job seekers and employers get ready for the upcoming holiday season.

  • Employment Workshop – October 31 (9am- Noon)
    • Looking for a job? Job seekers will learn tips in updating resumes, interviewing skills, social media and live networking, tools and resources to grow your skills and working a job fair.
  • Employer Workshop on Skills-based hiring – November 1 (9am-Noon)
    • Hiring? Employers will learn about innovative tools and materials available that can help with skills-based hiring, job posting techniques and workforce support.
  • Career Fair – November 2 (9am-Noon)
    • Employers and job-seekers are invited to participate in a free City of Surprise career fair! On Wednesday, November 2, local employers will be onsite to recruit new talent and promote any upcoming positions.

Career fairs are an interactive, personal way to identify new opportunities, get questions answered face-to-face, and assess whether a particular job is a good fit. Employers appreciate the chance to meet a variety of job candidates in person and the capability of interviewing on-site.

The employers scheduled to attend the career fair represent a variety of industries, including healthcare, education, retail and more. Representatives from Dysart Unified School District and City of Surprise Fire-Medical will be onsite too! To see the full list of employers, visit www.surpriseaz.gov/communityjobs and click on the “Job Seekers” button.

The Surprise workshops and career fair are being offered as part of the city’s Business Education Series that assists local businesses with information and continued education. To sign up for the workshops or to secure a table at the career fair, contact Kendra Pettis at 623.222.3330 or kendra.pettis@surpriseaz.gov.

City to Host Free Wellness Classes

Health and wellness are important for a thriving community, and the City of Surprise is hosting free wellness classes to help keep residents educated and informed on a variety of topics. The following classes are next in the series:

Advances in Lung Cancer Treatment – November 1, 6-7:30 p.m.
Thoracic Surgeon, Dr. Elbert Y. Kuo, will be presenting on advances in the treatment of lung cancer. Dr. Kuo says that every eight minutes, someone in the United States is diagnosed with lung cancer. Every year, lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death for men and women in the United States – killing more people each year than colon, breast, prostate and pancreatic cancer combined. In this presentation, Dr. Kuo will discuss the importance of lung cancer screening, as well as treatment advances.

Leading a Balanced Life – November 8, 10-11:30 a.m.
This 45 minute presentation, taught by Banner Del Web Physical Therapy Assistant Maren Harrison, will cover: balance systems and strategies; the proper use of walking aids; how to fall and proper fall recovery. Plus, there will be an opportunity for a personal balance screening.

Both classes will be held in the auditorium of the Surprise Public Safety Building, located at 14250 W. Statler Plaza.

For information or to register, contact Ruby Sitea at 623.222.3242 or ruby.sitea@surpriseaz.gov. Please register early since space is limited.


Did You Know?

Early Voting – City Clerk’s Office

Please remember that that last day to cast your early ballot at the City Clerk’s Office at City Hall is November 4. Office hours are 8 am until 5 pm, Monday through Friday. Additionally, the Clerk’s office will be open on Saturday, October 29 from 10 am until 3 pm.

If you wait to vote until Election Day (November 8), you will need to go to your designated polling location. If you have any questions or would like to verify that you are registered, please contact the City Clerk’s office at 623.222.1200.


Contact Me

Office: 623.222.1325
Mobile: 623.451.3975
Email: skip.hall@surpriseaz.gov

Ask a Question

September 29, 2016 • Newsletter

Bell Road/Grand Avenue Update

The Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT) continues to issue weekly project updates for the Bell Road/Grand Avenue bridge project. Bell Road will remain closed between 134th Avenue and West Point Parkway until November 22, pending weather conditions and other unforeseen factors that may affect the target date.

Work continues as follows:

  • Build Grand Avenue retaining walls connecting to the Bell Road bridge.
  • Install sidewalk and hand railing on new bridge.
  • Reconstruct eastbound Grand Avenue.
  • Complete the retaining wall panels on the bridge over Grand Avenue.

City, County, and State law enforcement will be patrolling the area. Please obey all traffic signage and posted speed limits.

As always, please allow plenty of time and observe all traffic control signs and barricades. Thank you again for your patience during this project. For more information, please visit the project website at www.azdot.gov/bellandgrand or you can contact ADOT’s project hotline at Kyl Center Leaders 855.712.8530, press option #1.


Events & Meetings

Surprise Police Promotion Ceremony

The Surprise Police Department held a ceremony in the City Council Chambers on September 22 to honor the promotions of Commander James Jackson and Sergeant Terri Calabrese-Kopronica. Commander Jackson joined the Surprise Police Department in September 2013, and Sergeant Calabrese-Kopronica joined the Department in August 2008. Congratulations to the both of them!

Surprise Police Department held a ceremony in the City Council Chambers on September 22
Pictured from left to right: Police Chief Terry Young, Sergeant Terri Calabrese-Kopronica, Commander James Jackson, Assistant Chief Geoff Leggett and Commander John Heffelfinger.

KB Homes Ribbon Cutting

On September 22, KB Homes had a ribbon cutting for their new Villas at Sycamore Farms. Mayor Wolcott, Councilmembers Roland Winters, Todd Tande and I took part and welcomed KB Homes to the community located near Cactus Road and Loop 303.

Kyl Center for Water Policy – Leaders Roundtable

I attended the Kyl Center Leaders Roundtable at ASU SkySong on September 23. The keynote speakers were Kathryn Sorensen, Director of City of Phoenix Water Services, and Susan Craig, Communications Director for the Water Infrastructure Finance Authority of Arizona. Ms. Sorenson spoke about infrastructure challenges facing the city of Phoenix related to water and wastewater. Ms. Craig explained infrastructure financing options available to municipalities.

Arts and Cultural Advisory Commission Breakfast

On Saturday, September 24, I attended the Surprise Arts and Cultural Advisory Commission breakfast. Kristen Pierce with the Arizona Commission on the Arts was the speaker and facilitated a discussion on how arts organizations can be more collaborative. Other attendees included members of the Arts and Cultural Advisory Commission, WHAM, West Valley Arts Council, Arts HQ and the art teacher from Paradise Honors High School.

General Obligation Bond Election Discussion at Sun Village

I participated in a community meeting at Sun Village on Monday, September 26. The city’s Economic Development Director, Jeanine Jerkovic, gave an update on economic development and City Manager Bob Wingenroth presented on the upcoming $63 million General Obligation Bond Election. He explained the projects and the cost of the bond to residents, should it be approved by the voters. You can learn about the projects, costs and more at www.surpriseaz.gov/surpriseforward.

Surprise Regional Chamber of Commerce Breakfast Meeting

The Surprise Regional Chamber of Commerce breakfast meeting was held September 27 at The Colonnade. The five candidates for the AZ Corporation Commission participated in a candidate’s forum. Arizona will hold an election for Corporation Commission on November 8. Three seats are up for election. Additionally, City Manager Bob Wingenroth gave a presentation on the General Obligation Bond Election.


Mark Your Calendar

Emergency Preparedness Fair – Oct. 1

The Surprise Police and Fire-Medical Departments are teaming up with other local organizations to host an Emergency Preparedness Fair this Saturday, October 1! Join us from 9 a.m. to noon at the Home Depot located at 13760 W Bell Rd. in Surprise.

There will be ham radio demos, 72-hour emergency kits, activities for kids, fire truck and police car displays and more!

Participating agencies and organizations include: Surprise Fire Department, Surprise Police Department, Surprise Citizen Corps, Surprise Crisis Response Team, Surprise Community Response Team, West Valley Amateur Radio Club and Chance Pet Shelter.

Household Hazardous Waste Event – Oct. 8

If you’ve been holding on to unwanted paint, electronics and other hazardous waste, mark your calendar for the City’s next Household Hazardous Waste Collection Event on October 8.

This event is free and for Surprise residents only. Please bring a driver’s license or utility bill to show proof of a Surprise home address. Drop-off is at the Public Works Maintenance Yard, 13433 W. Foxfire Drive (from Bell Road, turn north on Dysart and follow signs to the entrance off Foxfire), from 8 a.m. – Noon.

For more information, including a list of acceptable items, check out www.surpriseaz.gov/HHWevent or call 623.222.6000.


Did You Know?

The New Surprise Progress Magazine is Out!

The fall 2016 volume of Progress Magazine is out! Much of the magazine is dedicated to informing you about the upcoming $63 million General Obligation Bond Election. It has details on each of the 9 proposed projects, the cost of the bond to you if it is approved by the voters, and what you’ll see on the ballot.

This issue also includes upcoming art experiences, an update on the Bell-Grand bridge project and the fall events calendar!

Can’t wait for your copy to arrive? Read the online version today! http://bit.ly/2d4VWPB


Contact Me

Office: 623.222.1325
Mobile: 623.451.3975
Email: skip.hall@surpriseaz.gov

Ask a Question

September 1, 2016 • Newsletter

Bell Road/Grand Avenue Update

The Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT) continues to issue weekly project updates for the Bell Road/Grand Avenue bridge project. Pictures below are courtesy of ADOT.

Work continues as follows:

  • Eastbound Grand Avenue roadway is being reconstructed.
  • The retaining wall panels of the bridge over Grand Avenue will continue to be built for the next few months.

**City, County, and State law enforcement will be patrolling the area. Please obey all traffic signage and posted speed limits.**

As always, please allow plenty of time and observe all traffic control signs and barricades. Thank you again for your patience during this project. For more information, please visit the project website at www.azdot.gov/bellandgrand or you can contact ADOT’s project hotline at 855.712.8530, press option #1.


Events & Meetings

Youth Services Administrator Interviews

Vice Mayor Jim Biundo, Councilman Roland Winters and I joined staff to interview the final three candidates for the Youth Services Administrator on Monday, August 22. Former Youth Services Administrator Paul Bernardo has accepted a promotional opportunity within the city which led to this opening. Congratulations to Paul!

Surprise Regional Chamber of Commerce Meeting

I attended the Surprise Regional Chamber of Commerce breakfast meeting on Tuesday, August 23. City Manager Bob Wingenroth provided a city update. With many thanks to him and the staff, there are many great things happening in Surprise.

City Manager Bob Wingenroth

Arizona League of Cities & Towns Conference

The Arizona League of Cities & Towns Conference began on Tuesday, August 23. This conference is a great opportunity to reconnect with other Council Members throughout the state, network with agencies who work with Surprise and help build the momentum the City Council has been able to achieve.

Part of this year’s conference included meetings with Cox Communications regarding digital contour and EPCOR regarding their plans to combine their water districts. In addition, I was able to attend several sessions including the impact of military bases in Arizona, how communities can make progress toward a future workforce, and innovative programs that have shown success for cities. City Council attended a focus group discussion on why our youth leave the State; Surprise was represented by our very own Surprise Youth Council (SYC) Member Samantha Salazar. Following the youth session, members of SYC competed in the Democraseed Challenge and placed third in the challenge. The Center for the Future of Arizona and Arizona State University’s Office of Entrepreneurship partnered to with the Challenge to foster creative civic engagement projects. Congratulations to our SYC team!

Councilman John Williams and I received service awards during the Legislative and Service Award Luncheon on Thursday, August 25. Congratulations to John on his years of service. I have enjoyed serving with you!

Boards & Commissions Interviews

Councilmembers Rachel Villanueva, Roland Winters and I interviewed candidates for the City’s current Boards & Commissions vacancies. Recommendations will be made to the full City Council at the regular City Council meeting scheduled for Tuesday, September 6. There are two vacancies on the Disability Advisory Commission, one vacancy on the Board of Trustees, two vacancies on the Personnel Appeals Board, two vacancies on the Planning & Zoning Commission and three vacancies on the Tourism Advisory Board.

Desert Premier Home Realty Grand Opening and Ribbon Cutting

District 5 has another new business! Desert Premier Home Realty celebrated their grand opening with a ribbon cutting on Tuesday, August 30. Desert Home Premier is a real estate agency that focuses on homes for sale in Surprise, Sun City, Sun City West, Peoria, Goodyear, Avondale, Glendale, Scottsdale and other areas near Phoenix. Best wishes to the owners, Jay and Lynn Otlewski, on their new location!


Mark Your Calendar

Surprise Civic Center Hosting Two Art Events

It’s an evening of art at Surprise Civic Center on September 8. Experience a showcase of fine art photography at Surprise City Hall, followed by an art exhibition at Arts HQ.

The City of Surprise Arts & Cultural Advisory Commission is hosting an event featuring the photography work of artist Archie Tucker in the Mayor’s Atrium of Surprise City Hall, 16000 N. Civic Center Plaza, from 4-5 p.m. Then from 5-7 p.m., Arts HQ presents the opening reception for its exhibit, Exhibicion de Arte, at its gallery located at 16126 N Civic Center Plaza.

Both events are free. For more information on the showcase, please call 623.214.7537. For more information on the Arts HQ exhibit, please call 623.584.2626.

Free Marketing Workshop

If you are looking for tips and tactics to promote your business free of charge, the city is hosting a Guerilla Marketing workshop on September 8. The workshop will be taught by marketing and business author Al Lautenslager, and each attendee will receive a copy of his book, “Market Like You Mean It”.

The workshop will be held from 10-11:30 am at the AZ TechCelerator-Building D, located at 12425 W. Bell Road. To reserve a spot, please call 623.222.3322.


Did You Know?

Primary Election Results

Surprise voters elected two new city councilmembers in Districts 2 and 4, returned an incumbent to District 3 and re-elected the mayor in Tuesday’s primary election.

The news is based on preliminary, unofficial results reported by the Maricopa County Elections Department.

Running unopposed, Sharon Wolcott was re-elected as mayor, having received 14,243 votes or 97% of the vote.

In District 2, Jim Hayden defeated incumbent Vice Mayor Jim Biundo, with a vote tally of 3,289 votes (57%), versus Biundo’s 2,483 votes (43%).

In District 3, incumbent Councilmember John Williams defeated Gisele Norberg. Williams received 1,057 votes (57%) to Norberg’s 781 votes (43%).

In District 4, with 998 votes (57%), Ken Remley defeated incumbent Rachel Villanueva who received 754 votes or (43%).

All positions carry a four-year term, expiring December 31, 2020. New terms begin on January 1, 2017.

All results are preliminary until all of the ballots dropped off at City Hall on Election Day and all Provisional Ballots are counted. A final ballot tally is expected by September 5th, if not sooner, from the Maricopa County Elections Department.


Contact Me

Office: 623.222.1325
Mobile: 623.451.3975
Email: skip.hall@surpriseaz.gov

Ask a Question

June 9, 2016 • Newsletter

Bell Road/Grand Avenue Update

Construction at the Bell Road/Grand Avenue interchange continues to progress. This past week, work included the following:

  • Preparation to pave the new westbound roadway on the east side of Grand Avenue.
  • Completion of the bridge support beams on the west side of Grand Avenue.
  • Relocation and installation of utilities at the northwest corner of Bell Road and Grand Avenue
  • Installation of curb, gutter and grade for the new 134th Avenue.
  • Installation of new waterline on Bell Road, east of 134th Drive.

Upcoming weekend work includes:

  • Work to place 15 large girders on a section of Bell Road for the overpass will restrict traffic lanes along Grand Avenue. Grand Avenue will be narrowed to one lane in each direction between Dysart Road and Towne Center Drive from 1 a.m. on Saturday, June 11 to 12 p.m. on Sunday, June 12.

Please allow plenty of time and observe all traffic control signs and barricades. Thank you again for your patience during this project. For more information, please visit the project website at www.azdot.gov/bellandgrand or you can contact ADOT’s project hotline at 855.712.8530, press option #1. Pictures below courtesy of ADOT.

Bell and Grand interchange progress


City Council Work Session

Community and Recreation Services Program Participation

Community and Recreation Services Director Mark Coronado updated the City Council on fiscal year 2015 program participation. For FY15, there was a total of 499,838 participants: tennis – 26,781, aquatics – 68,551, recreation – 82,854, sports tourism and special events – 306,378 and 3rd party events – 14,838. No surprise that under the category of sports tourism, spring training had the most participation with 201,650, followed by the Annual Surprise Party with 20,000 and the Surprise Fiesta Grande with 16,000. The city’s largest sports recreation program is youth sports with 10,000 youth participating in all the sports programs combined. With regards to recreation, our teen programs such as open recreation, teen tournaments, etc. had 27,000 participants. Aquatics also sees plenty of participation with participants averaging 55,000 between open swim, teen splash, dive in movies, etc. Last fiscal year, participation in tennis, racquetball and pickleball was at 26,000 participants.

Several awards were bestowed to the CRS team including the Natural Resource Award (for completion of a reclaimed water project at Veramonte Park), AZTEC (gold for best photo of a participant and silver for best event brochure), Project of the Year (Surprise Farms Park Project), and the USTA President’s Award for continued advocacy for the development of youth, adult, local and national tennis tournaments.

Membership Agreement Update on Surprise Regional Chamber of Commerce

A progress report on the goals and objectives of the Membership Agreement with the Surprise Regional Chamber of Commerce was provided to Council. The Chamber continues to grow and evolve. One of the significant changes includes a new Chair, Patrick McDermott, who works for APS.

The Chamber has been actively involved, in partnership with the city, on the Shop Surprise campaign which was kicked off to help the businesses affected by the Bell Road closure. In addition to this critical campaign, the Chamber has completed the new Chamber Business Directory and improved many of their ongoing events.

Economic Development Reimbursement (EDRA) Initiative

Deputy City Manager Nicole Lance provided an update on EDRA that I had requested earlier last month. EDRA is a proposed economic development tool that incentivizes business expansion and attraction. The concept was developed in 2014, refined and brought before the Arizona League of Cities in 2015 and adopted by Council with the Legislative agenda in January 2016. Around that time, Representative David Livingston intended to sponsor it.

HighGround Inc. was given a contract to consult on it. The initiative discussion continues at this time with Ms. Lance taking a lead and meeting with necessary parties to gain further momentum.


City Council Meeting

2016 Bond Election

City Manager Bob Wingenroth provided background on the Surprise Forward (proposed General Obligation Bond election) campaign, and he asked Council to provide direction on which projects should be included in a potential bond and how those projects should be presented to voters, should Council choose to take the issue to the November ballot. Council was able to consider resident input gathered on the projects via seven community meetings and online submissions. We determined that projects in the proposed bond should include two new fire stations, a police property and evidence facility,a public works operation facility, improvements to Litchfield and Greenway roads, an aquatic center expansion, and a regional recreation project. We asked that the pickleball court expansion be removed from the list of bond projects, but that staff seek other funding sources for that project in the FY17 budget. At the meeting, a new project was introduced that would allow the city to purchase land for a future police substation, fire station and park in the southwest portion of the city. Council decided to include that project, keeping the project count at 9.

City Council also voted to consider one ballot question regarding the bond with additional detail for transparency, including the cost of public safety, transportation and recreation projects broken out. Council will vote on whether or not to place the issue on the ballot at the June 21 Regular City Council Meeting.

Greater Phoenix Economic Council (GPEC) Agreement

Economic Development Director Jeanine Jerkovic introduced staff from GPEC and provided an overview of the support the organization provides to Surprise and other cities and towns in Maricopa County. GPEC has brought more than 116,000 jobs to the Maricopa County over the past 26 years. Additionally, the organization has created 4 locates (Mainstreet Rehabilitation, IRIS USA, Cobalt Medical and Everede Tools) in Surprise. City Council unanimously approved an Intergovernmental Agreement not to exceed $55,000.

Transportation Gaps

Public Works staff provided a presentation on gap streets which elaborated on current efforts, priorities and funding methods. Having an established Capital Improvement Plan (CIP) is important to be able to have outside source funding become more available. Maricopa Association of Governments (MAG) is very sensitive to local agency commitments to projects that are seeking grant funding. If a local agency is showing a financial commitment, even just enough to fund a design, that can sometimes be enough to warrant a grant award from MAG.

Being prepared for grant funding is important in such cases as the stimulus money that was being made available during the financial crisis in 2009 and 2010. Having ‘shovel ready’ projects was key to local agencies being considered for the stimulus funds that were being allotted through the Federal Highway Administration. Although design efforts would cost a little more and take more time if the federal process is followed, it can put a project into the right position to qualify for federal funds should they become available.

Another key to how the City is better positioning itself to address scalloped street funding is how well the interdepartmental coordination is happening. Community Development, Finance and Public Works have been making a conscious effort to coordinate on new projects as early as possible in the developmental period to ensure the right funding is in place, transportation planning needs are being considered and cost estimates are accurate. This team approach allows the City to be showing the outside agencies like MAG, ADOT and MCDOT that the City is taking an active role in its transportation system and has a systematic approach to its establishment of a 5 year CIP.

Bell & Grand Temporary Signage & Use Permit Policy Amendment

In order to assist businesses during the construction of the Bell Road and Grand Avenue bridge project, city staff developed the Bell and Grand Temporary Sign and Use Permit Policy, which was approved by the City Council on March 15, 2016 as Resolution # 2016-42. The sign portion of the policy included the signage as allowed in the previous Temporary Sign Policy, but also removes the requirement for the Temporary Use Permit to utilize a sign walker and also includes a provision to allow for directional signs which are placed as way/finding signs and are used when the normal route to the business is not possible due to construction.

This amendment to Resolution # 2016-42 proposes to allow for Major Tenants of one-hundred thousand square feet (100,000 sq. ft.) or more to be eligible to have directional signs at locations at the following intersections: Dysart Road and Grand Avenue; Dysart Road and Greenway Road; Litchfield Road and Greenway Road; Litchfield Road and Bell Road; Litchfield Road and Grand Avenue. The proposal also allows for these Major Tenant Directional Signs to include tenants equal to or greater than twenty thousand square feet (20,000 sq. ft.) so long as such tenant is not located on any other temporary directional signage and may only locate on one such sign. The business provides and installs these signs.


Mark Your Calendar

Surprise Heritage District Public Meetings

Beginning next week, the city will be hosting public meetings regarding the proposed Surprise Heritage District which aims to advance the revitalization plan for the city’s Original Town Site (OTS). The city has drafted ordinance changes that, if approved by the City Council, would implement a new zoning district in the OTS with two associated zoning overlays – one that focuses on residential and one that focuses on commercial.

The proposed zoning changes are intended to further implement the existing OTS Revitalization Plan that was adopted by City Council in 2002. The city collaborated with residents through presentations, interactive workshops and visual surveys to gather and draft the proposed ordinance. That draft ordinance was presented at several public meetings in April and May. Three meetings remain, a presentation-style meeting and two public hearings. They are as follows:

June 15 – District 4 Meeting with Councilwoman Rachel Villanueva
6 pm at Surprise Senior Center, 15832 N. Hollyhock Street

June 16 – Planning and Zoning Commission Public Hearing for Recommendation
6 pm at Surprise City Hall Council Chambers, 16000 N. Civic Center Plaza

June 21 – City Council Public Hearing for Consideration and Action
6 pm at Surprise City Hall Council Chambers, 16000 N. Civic Center Plaza

The draft ordinance is available at www.surpriseaz.gov/heritagedistrict and you may offer your comments online. For more information, please contact Joshua Mike at 623.222.3134.

Community Pride Day – Volunteers Needed

Looking for an opportunity to help your community? The City of Surprise is seeking volunteers for a Community Pride Day event on June 18 from 7a.m. – Noon!

Volunteers can sign up to help at one of two locations, St. Mary’s Food Bank or Imagine Preparatory High School, and will spend the morning painting, gardening and sorting food boxes.

If you are interested in volunteering, please sign-up by contacting Jason Hughes at 623.222.3239 or jason.hughes@surpriseaz.gov.

Truth in Taxation Hearing

In compliance with Section 42-17107, Arizona Revised Statutes, the city has notified property taxpayers of the intention to raise property taxes over last year’s rate. The city is proposing an increase in primary property taxes of $588,173 or 8.7%.

For example, the proposed tax increase will cause the primary property taxes on a $100,000 home to increase from $74.13 (total taxes that would be owed without the proposed tax increase) to $80.59 (total proposed taxes including the tax increase).

All interested residents have been invited to attend the public hearing on the tax increase that is scheduled to be held on June 21, 2016 at 6 p.m. in the City Council Chambers, 16000 N. Civic Center Plaza, Surprise.


Did You Know?

Surprise Aquatic Center and Hollyhock Pool Are Open!

The city pools are now open for summer open swim. The Surprise Aquatic Center is located at 15831 N. Bullard Avenue. Weekend hours are 12 noon until 5 pm. Weekday open swim hours are Monday through Thursday from 12 noon until 6 pm and Friday from 12 noon until 4 pm.

The Hollyhock pool is located at 15808 N. Hollyhock Street. Weekend hours are 12 noon until 4 pm, and weekday open swim hours are Monday through Thursday from 12 noon until 3 pm.

Daily admission for residents is $1 per child (17 and under) and $2 per adult. Proof of residency must be shown. Admission for non-residents is $5 per person. Children 10 and under must be accompanied by a responsible person, 16 or older, at all times. Pool passes are also available for residents: individual passes are $20 for youth (17 and under) and $40 for adults. Family passes (2 adults and up to 3 children) are $80.


Contact Me

Office: 623.222.1325
Mobile: 623.451.3975
Email: skip.hall@surpriseaz.gov

Ask a Question